Propagating Hope – Stories from African SMEs Amidst COVID19 || The Peace Exhibit: Promoting Mental Health Awareness Through Art

#Support4AfricaSMEs is pleased to share with you The Peace Exhibit, an online exhibition curated by Nigerian fine art photographer – Chudy Ogobegwu. The exhibition features a collection of fine art portraits and literary works created by photographers, artists, and writers across Africa; exploring the subject of depression, anxiety and the search for personal peace with the sole aim to stir up conversations and shed light on these issues.

This online event is hosted on the website, and began on the 16th of May 2020. The project is a non-profit initiative which depending on its success, will progress to a physical exhibition where the contributing artists can sell prints of their submissions to willing buyers.

Depression, anxiety, and mental health issues don’t get talked about enough in Africa. We believe that this project will help to spark up conversations across the continent and these conversations will become a first step in helping the many people who are suffering.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in many glaring and undeniable ways — ranging from loss of life to the devastating economic impact. However, one of the major yet less visible ways it has taken a toll on people is in the area of mental well-being. The constant stream of bad news during the pandemic, which has led to widespread fear and uncertainty, has exposed people around the world to the dark reality of a life lived with anxiety—a reality that many others have lived with most of their lives.

Unfortunately, the average African response to the issue of depression and anxiety has typically been silence, ignorance or religious condescension. Yet, one in twenty-seven people in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Depression rarely gets broached in public because of fear being ridiculed or preached at with an air of condescension.

This project, just like the conversation it represents, is larger than any individual. For this to succeed, Chudy Ogobegwu and his team need your help amplifying the message. This includes actively promoting the exhibition on your social media accounts, leveraging any blog/press/influencer relationships you currently have as well as helping them access any organizations and developmental agencies within your network that will be instrumental in spreading the impact of this project across Africa. 

Once again to view and participate in this exhibition, see link here:

From the conversation above, it is evident that in spite of the COVID-19 epidemic, there are entrepreneurs, innovators and creatives who are facing these unprecedented challenges head on and are finding new ways to run their businesses, stay relevant in their respective sectors and helping the communities around them. These individuals stand as beacons of hope and their stories deserve to be heard.

If you belong to this unique group of dynamic African entrepreneurs, I implore you to get in touch via the email addresses written below. I also encourage you to use the hashtag, #Support4AfricaSMEs and to share our articles and posts to be a part of this campaign. You can also find an aggregation of important resources here:

Remember, you are a beacon of hope and your voice needs to be heard.

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